Photo by Noam Chen - Israeli Ministry of Tourism
Where the Sacred Past and Present MeetThe Western Wall (also called the Kotel) is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Jewish Temple’s courtyard in the Old City of Jerusalem. It is one of the most sacred sites in Judaism, outside the Temple Mount itself. The plaza in front of the wall is divided into separate sections for women and men. Some worshipers wedge their prayers, written on small scraps of paper, into crevices between the stones in the wall, while others stand and pray, sometimes for hours. Archeologists have uncovered layers of the wall underground through years of excavation, and via a guided tour, visitors can walk through areas of this original, unrestored site that dates back to the 1st century C.E.